StateScape (which is a fee-based service) offers a FREE BillFinder search for researching state legislation. Per the site, “BillFinder helps you find any bill eligible for consideration in the current calendar year using either keywords and phrases or bill numbers.”
I believe most individuals will go directly to a specific state if they know a bill number. However, this site is great for looking for similar legislation being considered by more than one state.
Let’s say you are interested in determining how many states have introduced “smoke-free” legislation. A quick search of “all states” produces a list of pending legislation. Each bill summary includes the state, bill number, a brief summary, and creation/modification dates. Selecting the “detail” link pulls up additional information such as the sponsor and history.
The search tool allows for Boolean operators, phrase searching, wildcard, and proximity options. These features help an individual locate legislation when a state’s website lacks powerful search functionality. If you only need to search a select group of states, a checkbox window allows you to choose particular states.
Note: if you go to the BillFinder from their homepage, you may be asked to register before you can utilize the free service. However, I tested the BillFinder link above from several computers and did not need to register.